Warren Beatty Reacts to “You’re So Vain” (A McSweeney’s Castoff)

In which I house a homeless monologue

Here follows a piece which was rejected by not one but TWO online humor mags, one being the illustrious McSweeney’s Internet Tendency of Boston. Given the double distinction, I felt it merited self-publication. It is, I think, no meaner than the song.

It was a yacht party, Carly. Not sure what you expected of me. I was trying to make a good impression, which frankly was none of your concern given that we’d broken up a while ago. So maybe I erred on the excessive side. You know, we can’t all grow up in high society, flirting our way through those kinds of shindigs every other weekend. And what does it say about you that I worked my way into a class that you were born into and I’m more famous? Huh? You want to fix me with your judgment funnel, fine. I’ll funnel you right back. And not in a sexual way this time.

I mean, I didn’t know you were going to be there. And if you’re suffering from any delusion that I cared, well, you can get your head out of the clouds in your coffee right now. Believe it or not, there were other important people in my life while we were together, and since then all of those people have been bumped a spot higher on my list of priorities. I commend you for punching up, but I do not need that kind of negativity clouding my aura.

You seriously think just because you fit your side of the story into a catchy little pop song and enlisted your new BFF Mick Jagger to help you melodically bash me that I’m suddenly going to regret the choices I made? Well, you thought wrong. Also, that album cover looks like the paparazzi caught you coming out of a Wegman’s.

Oh, and as to what I was wearing: the scarf was a gift from my good friend Francis Ford Coppola’s nephew, right before he faked his own death so he could resurface later under a different name and make movies about stealing historic American documents. And the hat was an antique! It wasn’t even supposed to dip below one eye; that’s just the way it fell! Attributing all that to strategy—honestly, you give me too much credit. I had to keep checking the mirror to make sure I could see well enough not to fall flat on my face in the middle of the dance floor and endanger everyone in the vicinity. My head is smaller than you’d have it be, in multiple senses.

Hmph. Probably think this song is about me. Don’t insult my intelligence. It could only have been about me. That isn’t vanity, it’s a basic familiarity with my own life. If anything, you’re the vain one for belaboring the point long after the relationship ended. Move on, lady. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a communist movie to write, direct, and star in.

Image: No Secrets (1973), the album containing literally the biggest secret

Published by Cecilia Gigliotti

Cecilia Gigliotti (she/her) lives in Berlin with a beloved ukulele named Uke Skywalker. She co-hosts and produces the music commentary podcast POD SOUNDS. Her free time goes toward dancing, reading books new and old, drawing cartoons, taking city walks, and devoting too much thought to the foibles of her heroes. Connect with her on Instagram (@c_m_giglio, @ceciliagphotography, @pod_sounds_podcast) and see what else she's up to (linktr.ee/ceciliagigliotti).

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